STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Now, the congressional hearing yesterday focused in part on how to protect kids online because one of the allegations is that Instagram, owned by Facebook, is harmful to some kids. NPR education reporter Anya Kamenetz has been reporting on teen well-being and media use for many years. She even wrote a book about it called “The Art Of Screen Time.” Now, before we talk to Anya, we should say for transparency that after writing the book, her husband’s company was bought by Facebook. Her husband works in a division that’s unrelated to the social media site. Anya, good morning.
ANYA KAMENETZ, BYLINE: Morning, Steve.
INSKEEP: OK, so when you look at the information that was disclosed in these leaked documents, particularly about Instagram, what stands out?
KAMENETZ: You know, when I heard that Facebook had been concealing the fact that it was toxic for teen girls, I was excited that they had some big trove of data on their millions of users that would now come to light. But that’s unfortunately not what happened.
INSKEEP: What do you mean?
KAMENETZ: Well, what Facebook has done largely is they’ve been asking teenagers about their opinions. This is market research. There’s no control group. They’re not talking to non-Instagram users or following people over time. And they say, do you think social media is bad for you? And, you know, this question doesn’t happen in a vacuum, obviously, because clearly teenagers are hearing from the same sources we all are that social media is bad for them. So self-reports can be unreliable. And other experiments have shown that they are.
INSKEEP: So you are pointing out some of the limitations of this research that was exposed by these leaks. But some of the numbers are eye-popping. At least of the people surveyed, about 6% of teens blamed Instagram for suicidal thoughts. And an even larger number of girls felt that it made their body image issues worse. What’s going on there?
KAMENETZ: So, you know, Facebook, I feel like, was a victim of their really bad own internal slide decks. As part of its public response to these leaks, they released annotations to this data that show that what appeared in the headlines was really misleading. So, for example, in a 2,500-person survey, only 16 total participants agreed that, one, they do have thoughts of suicide and, two, Instagram is also to blame. Obviously, even if that number is very small, it’s still troubling.
And, you know, similar thing occurred with the body image. It’s been reported that 1 in 3 teen girls say it makes their body image issues worse. In fact, there were 150 teen girl respondents who said, yes, I have body image issues. And then when you ask that small group, 100 of them, give or take, said, no, Instagram has no effect or it’s actually making my body image issues better. And then 50 said, yes, it’s making it worse. And that, of course, may be important information for the company to act on. But at the same time, it may not tell you anything useful about the likely impact of Instagram, say, on your teenager.
INSKEEP: Is there more reliable research from elsewhere suggesting that social media is bad for teenagers’ mental health?
KAMENETZ: You know, I’ve been looking at decades of research, first on television, then on video games, now on social media. In big, well-designed studies with thousands of participants, mostly the results are tiny or null. So right now there’s a huge opportunity for Facebook to go transparent, release data on millions of teenagers and help researchers figure out how to make social media healthier for teens, especially the vulnerable ones that we’re all so worried about.
INSKEEP: NPR’s Anya Kamenetz, thanks.
KAMENETZ: Thank you.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.
5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android
Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.
You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).
You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.
While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.
We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.
Credit: buffer / app store
Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.
Credit: preview / app store
Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.
Credit: content office / app store
An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.
Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.
Credit: plann / apple store
You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…
Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.
Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters
From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.
It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.
TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.
I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones
More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.
People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.
A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.
Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said: “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.
“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.
“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”
How many hashtags should you use to get the most ‘Likes’ on Instagram?
Hashtags are a key feature of Instagram posts. In fact, they have become an essential means of ensuring more ‘Likes’ on social media – so long as you choose them wisely.
But how many hashtags should you use to maximise your popularity on the social network? The answer might surprise you.
It’s a question that many Instagram users ask themselves: what’s the right number of hashtags to add to a post? To find out, the Later platform analysed 18 million Instagram posts, excluding videos, Reels and Stories.
Interestingly, Later’s results differ from Instagram’s own recommendations. According to Later’s analysis, using more hashtags helps get better results in terms of “reach”, or the percentage of users exposed to the post. By using 20 hashtags, Later observed an optimal average reach rate of just under 36%. Using 30 hashtags gets the next-best reach rate. With five hashtags, reach hits just under 24%.
And while a post’s reach is important, engagement is even more so. From “Likes” and comments to shares and follows – on average, 30 hashtags appears to result in better engagement rates: “When it comes to average engagement rate, using 30 Instagram hashtags per feed post results in the most likes and comments,” says Later’s research.
Yet, at the end of September 2021, Instagram advised its creators to use between three and five hashtags for their posts, while warning them against using too many. The social network advised that using 10 to 20 hashtags per post “will not help you get additional distribution”.
For Later, there could be other reasons behind Instagram’s recommendations: “As Instagram continues to expand their discoverability and SEO tools, it makes sense that they want users to experiment with fewer, more relevant hashtags – this could help them accurately categorise and recommend your posts in suggested content streams, like the Instagram Reels feed or the updated hashtag search tabs,” the website explains. – AFP Relaxnews
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